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Ex-Malaysian finance minister pleads not guilty to soliciting bribe

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysian finance minister Lim Guan Eng has pleaded not guilty to a charge of using his position as then Chief Minister of Penang to solicit a RM3.3 million (S$1.1 million) bribe related to the RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project.

He was accused of assisting the company owned by Mr Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli to be appointed to conduct the construction of main roads for the project.

Lim was alleged to have committed the offence between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Chief Minister's Office.

The charge under Section 23(1) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of no less than five times the amount of gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Last Friday, Lim, who is the Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general, pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to soliciting gratification to help a company secure the Penang undersea tunnel project.

He was accused of using his position as the then Chief Minister to solicit a 10 per cent cut of the profits which would be made from the road and tunnel project.

Rival party Malaysian Chinese Association's publicity chief Chan Quin Er said the emotions following the cases against the duo were expected as it involved political figures.

She said the DAP was playing the sympathy card to win support and its leaders had argued the defence through social media and the press.

"It is best that we wait for the full details to be produced in court," she added. - THE STAR

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